Love, Vaginas & Cockroaches

And so we have arrived: the day of love, V-day, torture, whatever you want to call it.

I know, there are some of you who are happy in love, and that’s a beautiful thing. And then there are those of you who are just indifferent about the whole thing. I guess I’m somewhere on the spectrum between tortured and indifferent, leaning more toward the latter.

Valentine’s Day used to be my favorite. I was always fortunate enough to get a teddy bear or box of chocolates out of the whole thing. And who doesn’t love teddy bears and chocolate? Now, I admittedly find more pleasure in stripping the day down to its historical, not so romantic origins, which are a bit different than our present-day version.

Historians trace V-day back to the pagan festival Lupercalia: “A lovers’ holiday tracing its roots to raucous annual Roman festivals where men stripped naked, grabbed goat- or dog-skin whips, and spanked young maidens in hopes of increasing their fertility.”

Um, yeah.

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Christianity, of course, replaced the pagan interpretation with its own version. As the story goes, Roman Emperor Claudius II banned all men from marrying in an attempt to strengthen his army. But Valentine refused to comply and continued marrying couples in secret.

It was a lovely gesture and a heroic effort in the name of love. However, the ending isn’t quite as sweet. Claudius eventually hunted Valentine down, arrested him, beat him to death, and cut his head off.

So there’s that.

Now there seems to be a resurgence of death and destruction attached to our jour d’amour. A zoo in Texas (appropriately enough) is celebrating Valentine’s Day by soliciting jilted lovers to assign their ex’s name to a cockroach, and then feed it to a meerkat. No joke.

Not gonna lie, I was tempted. Okay, no I wasn’t, but I might have thought of a name or two.

The abbreviation of the name, V-Day, has also been adapted over the years to pay tribute to other deserving honorees- one of them being our vaginas. Eve Ensler, author of the Vagina Monologues, declared February 14 “Vagina Day” as a campaign to end domestic violence and sexual abuse of women.

I’m sure this made St. Valentine do a somersault in his grave, but I’m all about it. I’m getting way more pleasure from the star of Eve’s show than from Valentine’s. 

And then there’s V-day/Victory Day, of course- a day to celebrate a final military victory, which I’m also all about. 

So here’s my proposition: for those of us on the tortured/indifferent spectrum, let’s designate today as 3V Day – a day to celebrate our love of love, our vaginas (and the protection thereof) and victory over anyone who comes within 10 centuries of our derrieres with a whip.

Don’t worry, guys, we will forbid death by execution (or meerkats) for any wrong-doings. But it might behoove you to utilize the whole “love, honor, cherish” approach just in case…

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And for all of you, regardless of gender, who have also lost love, or just forgotten what it feels like, you are not alone or forgotten. And although it’s not as cute as a teddy bear or as good as chocolate, here is a Valentine from me to you:

Love doesn’t always look the way we want it to, come from whom we want it to, or unfold when we want it to. But it’s still here, like water, always changing forms, sometimes flowing freely and sometimes evaporating into something we can no longer see or feel.

But it’s still here, filling in the cracks of our broken heart and infusing every breath with life. We just have to keep trying to let it flow freely and trust that, in time, it will return, revealing itself in ways we never expected and replenishing what we thought we had lost, to overflowing.

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Echoes of Paris

I pushed through the splintered door- weathered from centuries of rain and neglect, that never seem to relent. The smell of Frankincense and Myrrh lingered, cutting through the damp chill and deafening silence echoing across the room…

The day, beginning its end,
Poured through the stained glass.
Drowning out images of sin,
And my redemption.

Flooding the room with gold,
Holding the shadows at bay.
Forcing my eyes to close.
And your resurrection.

paris.girl.                                             
                                                   * Painting by Emanuel M. Ologeanu
                                                         

 

* Painting by Emanuel M. Ologeanu

 

 

 

 

 

Peanut Butter

They all won’t be sad, promise.

And for those of you who have already read this one, apologies for the repeat. It’s just, I took the first bite of my apple…

Mushy apples, wet peanut butter, cigarette smoke.
Plastic straws, caged animals, tree stumps.
Distended bellies, oppressed souls, false hope.

Hiccups, parking tickets, splintered wood.
Sirens, screeching brakes, raised fists.
Apathy, the sound of pain, someday I should.

You deserve the best, cold feet, flights home.
Bad timing, broken promises, empty words.
Twilight, sleeping alone…waking up alone.

Heather.Horton.Girl.Bed

Illustration by Heather Horton

* Cover illustration by Ashley Bowersox

Cream or Sugar

Maybe in another lifetime,
Our fates liberated from the confines of continents,
The injustice of timing,
The pre-existence of her and him.

Maybe then… you’d know.
coffee.window

Texas

I truly believe that people come into our lives for a reason, at just the right time, to enrich us in some way- to steer us in the right direction, help us realize our potential and remind us to live and love fully.

But there are also times when these lessons are as painful as the reasons are unfathomable. And their messengers, more menacing than we thought humanly possible.

I might never understand why he came into my life and what lessons I was supposed to learn, but I do know this:

These messengers can try to strip us of our dignity, shatter our hearts, and reduce us to ashes.

But they will never steal our fire.

TEXAS

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2 A.M.

You laid on my chest,
Counting the beats,
While I counted yours.

Waiting,
Hoping you’d say,
See? They beat the same.

 

 

Broken

Kintsugi is the centuries-old tradition of repairing pottery by filling in cracks with gold, with the understanding that the piece is more beautiful for haven been broken.

Kintsugi

 

 

 

 

No love, you are not broken.
There is nothing to be fixed.

You are just beautiful in a way most can’t understand.

But you don’t want most, do you.
You don’t need to be understood by those.
Who can’t see the beauty in imperfection.

 

broken.pot.gold

Naked Guise

You will not find poetry here
Here, no poet resides.

Just a collection of words
Infused with magic, (which cannot be defined)

Summoned by a gypsy soul
Hiding behind a naked guise.

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Follow @summoningmagic.com

Have to say, this is really f*cking good. (Published in Voyage Denver Magazine)

I think we have a tendency to blame the demise of our society on social media. I get it, the constant stream of everyone’s “all things good” can make us feel like we’re failing miserably at the whole life thing.

But, there are some legitimate positives- getting to see snippets of our friends and families all over the world, for example. It can also be a gateway to connect with people and opportunities we wouldn’t otherwise have access to, ones that can change our lives for the better.

Here is one such connection:

Voyage Denver Magazine is featuring a series, The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative, “…to highlight and celebrate female role models, encourage more equal and just representation in the media, and help foster a more tight-knit community locally helping women find mentors, business partners, friends and more.”

Long/short, they saw this photo I posted on Instagram and wanted to share it on their site.  They followed up with an invitation to do an interview for the series.

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Photo by Jenna Sparks

My first reaction: Ummm, are you sure about that? But I knew the focus was on empowering women, and god knows, I have a substantial amount of knowledge on what NOT to do. And, I have acquired a fair amount of insight along the way.

So even if just one woman is inspired to rise up and “…take the world by the lapels,” (to quote Maya, the ultimate role model) then I did what I set out to do.

So thank you, Voyage Denver, for inviting me to share my hard-earned lessons-learned.

And I have to say,  I read it and thought, damn girl, that’s really fucking good. ;o)

http://voyagedenver.com/interview/life-work-brooke-breazeale/

Voyage.Denver.Image.Basic